Brook Trout is considered a sensitive fish. They are not very tolerant to water pollution or habitat disturbance, which makes raising brook trout in an aquarium a challenge. On a daily basis the water chemistry in each tank must be monitored to ensure that the trout are living in a healthy environment.
Water Chemistry to be tested/ monitored
Chlorine: used in tap water to remove harmful bacteria. Chlorine is lethal to trout and the good bacteria in the tank.
Temperature: Brook trout live in cold water habitats. The ideal temperature for the tank is between 480F and 520F.
- Too cold (below 380F)- Trout digestive process slows and they don’t feel like eating… fish can starve to death
- Too warm (above 680F)- won’t digest their food completely, and water holds less oxygen so fish may suffocate
Dissolved Oxygen (DO): The amount of oxygen that will dissolve in water at a given temperature. Trout use a lot of oxygen as they are very active fish. The ideal DO level for the water is 10-12 ppm.
· Low DO- Reduce feeding, crowd incoming water flow, swim near surface with gaping mouths, and display fast gill cover movement …. fish mortality , until problem fixed
· High DO-Trout will circle the aquarium and begin heading to surface. Leads to harmful changes in blood cell chemistry… result in fish death
pH: It is a scale between 0-14 that measures if a liquid is acidic or basic. The tank’s water should be between a pH of 6.0 and 8.2
- A rapid pH change causes severe stress or death of fish. In extreme cases trout may become very excited, jumping out of water or racing back and forth in aquarium. In mild cases, fish may become sluggish and stay near the water surface
For more information see Instuctional Videos< pH
Nitrogen Cycle in the Aquarium
The aquarium is a closed environment, Therefore all waste excreted from the trout and uneaten food accumulates in your aquarium. The nitrogen cycle converts these wastes to safe by-products. Without the nitrogen cycle the levels of Ammonia and Nitrites in the tank would cause the trout respiratory problems.